Friday, January 30, 2009

Twestivals – an example of the value of Twitter?

In reading stories about Twitter, such as those that appeared after Flight 1549, it was interesting to read the comments – some proclaiming that this was validation of the greatness that is Twitter, while others criticized the stories and comments for being a sad attempt at justifying Twitter and its value.

I’m still new to Twitter, been using it for a few weeks, and as such, I’m still figuring things out. I’m enjoying the experience and learning about twitter – and other topics via the tweets from those that I follow. So right now, my first impressions are quite positive. But, it still seems that its worthwhile to ask questions such as:

  • What’s the value?
  • Why should anyone care about using it?
  • How does this make my life any better?
  • What difference can it make?

An interesting event that I came across today was a Twestival – where a community is coming together to organize a fundraiser to be held on the same day across 100+ cities. Which is a daunting and complex task. The charity being supported is charity: water – a group that provides clean drinking water to impoverished communities.

Seems like a good event – and a good cause. I’ve bought tickets to attend the local event, looking to see firsthand how things will go on the 12th.

However, I’m curious as to how twitter has helped in organizing the event. I’ve started to follow some of the associated twitter accounts – looking to gain a better understanding of how they are using twitter to help plan and generate attention and demand for the event.

I’ve noticed that each of the cities hosting a fundraiser that day has a blog – detailing the event and encouraging people to attend. So at a minimum, they are using some other social media tools to bring the event together.

For the organizers – I wonder – did Twitter help you plan? Did it help you build awareness? Has it helped you to keep each of the events on message? Do you think you would have accomplished similar results using other tools? Could you have done so as effectively? How would the cost compare using Twitter vs. other tools? Would it have been as successful if it was a Blestival or a Fastival?

Looking forward to the event and reading about the success achieved across all 100+ cities.


Thursday, January 29, 2009

New article published

A new article, “Model Driven Development Misperceptions and Challenges”, that I’ve co-written with Bertrand Portier has been posted recently on InfoQ. 

Models, abstraction and simplification are key tools to have available as you look to successfully create and deliver solutions – whether that is figuring out the processes for the business, the enterprise architecture, or the internal details of a specific software solution.   



Although I’m still a bit injured after my last run, decided that a goal is needed for guiding me through recovery and getting back out and running.  Goals are good, after all - or at least that’s what they tell me.

So I’ve signed up for the Powderface42 – race is scheduled for July.  This will be my first trail race – no concrete – nothing but nature.  The race is held just outside of Bragg Creek – at the foothills of the Rockys – so defintely not a flat race.  Take a look at the elevation profile – looks scary.

They had a write-up about the race in a running magazine – but they didn’t make the article available online.  But here’s a blog posting from SeeMikeRun discussing last year’s event.  In the posting he discusses how the winning time was a little over 4 hours – by someone that would likely run a 2:30 marathon on a normal course.

I have two goals for the race – 1.  I want to complete the race without any major injuries.  and 2.  I want to finish. 

In addition to training and figuring out how to run a trail race, they also advise ensuring that you are up on your trail safety – I have some reading to do. 

Monday, January 26, 2009

Where are you going?

As we look to succeed with SOA, we need to realize that there is more to such an effort than just looking at services, service-orientation or architecture.

Before digging deeper, here's a couple of quotes that I'm fond of and are applicable to the discussion:

"If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there." Lewis Carroll

"If you don't know where you're going, you might not get there." Yogi Berra

Both quotes highlight to me, the importance of understanding what it is that you are trying to accomplish. Without this understanding, you will most likely not find what you are seeking.

As we look at SOA, WOA, ROA, and all the other acronyms and shiny technology - we need to understand the objectives and goals of what we are trying to accomplish. Where are we going? We need to look at the business – what is it that the business is trying to accomplish? What is most important to the company? And conversely, what’s not important? How could we better compete? How can we better serve our customers? How can we operate more efficiently? How can we become more agile and better react to our environment?

The answers to such questions become our guiding points. They help us in figuring out our objectives and goals – and we then determine what is the best approach to solving these problems. We have a target, we know what is important, and where we are headed. Once we have this in place, we can start to look at how the available solutions can help us in solving our problems. How could we succeed otherwise?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

SOA Architect Summit

One more resource that I wanted to point out today is the SOA Architect Summit. These events are delivered worldwide - and provide a great opportunity to hear from some technical leaders from within IBM on topics that would interest the SOA Architect community.

The next Summit is being held on the 29th in Minneapolis. If you're interested in attending, you can still register.


Some SOA Resources

I thought that a good place to start with a first post would be a pointer to some resources on SOA. All of the material below is available for free, but has worthwhile content - a nice combination.

The list is not a top 10, nor is it the complete, all you'll ever need to know kind of list. Just some things that I thought would be of value for someone looking for more info on SOA. If you have suggestions on other things that are worth taking a look at, add a pointer in the comments.

Here goes:

Smart SOA Tutorial: The SOA Marketing team put this together before I came on. It’s a nice interactive app that introduces Smart SOA. If you haven't looked at the Smart SOA materials in the past, it’s a nice high level fa├žade on a continuum of projects/maturity for SOA. It maps nicely to the SIMM model - and also provides guidance on how the SOA Entry Points fit into such a maturity model.

If you want to go beyond simulations/tutorials, check out the IBM SOA Sandbox. The Sandbox provides a hosted set of IBM SOA products that you can try along with a set of associated tutorials. Nice to be able to give the products a try, experiment and learn without having to download, install and configure.

If you're looking to find out more about the development of SOA solutions, a Redbook that I would recommend (although I'm biased) is: Building SOA Solutions using the Rational SDP.

Let me know if you have questions about these materials, or if you need pointers to materials on different aspects of SOA.